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ATC Presents THE 39 STEPS Runs 1/14-2/26


The 39 Steps hits Arizona Theatre Company's stage at the Temple of Music and Art. Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps plays from January 14 - February 4, 2012 and continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from February 9 - 26, 2012. Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have ... Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. The madness begins when mild-mannered Richard Hannay starts his evening at the theatre and ends the night with a dead body in his lap. Caught in a maze of murder, espionage and flirtatious entanglements, our hero careens from the British music hall to the moors of Scotland and back to the London Palladium in search of a plausible alibi and the true identity of the killer. Four bravura actors play over 150 characters in telling Hitchcock's tale of mystery and espionage with jaw-dropping panache. Broadway's outrageous Tony-winning comedy smash proves that anything the movies can do, the theatre can do more hilariously!

"Half the fun of doing The 39 Steps is getting a chance to conjure up an authentic atmosphere of 'Hitchcockian' mystery, eroticism, and paranoia," said director Joel Sass. "I had wondered if in the midst of all the crazy game-playing, that part of the story might be lost; but you can sit in the audience and hear the gasps and the murmurs when our hero is about to step unknowingly into a trap, or a love interest from the previous act shows up. We're trying to pay homage to the artistic conventions of Hitchcock's suspense aesthetic while simultaneously doing an affectionate send-up of those same conventions. The audience derives humor from the fact that they can recognize what is being parodied, in addition to the fact that what they're watching is actually funny all on its own."

Alfred Hitchcock (Author) was an English-born, internationally celebrated film director who became known as "the master of suspense." He spent the 1930s directing a series of suspense and adventure thrillers that eventually would define his aesthetic, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, The Lady Vanishes and, in 1935, The 39 Steps. He left England for Hollywood in 1939, where his early body of work included Rebecca, Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound and Rope before he struck out on his own as a producer in 1948. His work continued to be defined by the suspense thriller, and he worked with the leading actors of his time as he created Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo and North by Northwest, which he acknowledged was a kind of remake of The 39 Steps, with the unassuming hero dropped into an adventure that includes a cross-country chase. His career reached into the 1970s, by which time he had mastered the craft of building suspense - and of understanding human psychology. He was knighted in 1980, the year he died.

John Buchan (Author) was a writer, soldier and statesman born in Scotland. During World War I, Buchan worked first as a Times correspondent then in the Foreign Office and finally as the director of information. He wrote and published the first two Richard Hannay novels, The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, during the war. In addition to his popular spy and adventure novels, Buchan also wrote several major histories and biographies.

Patrick Barlow (Adaptor) created The National Theatre of Brent in 1980, where his comedic alter-ego, Desmond Olivier Dingle, is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive. Mr. Barlow also wrote the libretto for Judgement of Paris and Requiem for a Relationship. His film and television writing credits include Messiah, Van Gogh, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Mighty Movements from World History, among others. Also an actor, Mr. Barlow's theatre credits include The Knack, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Loot, The Common Pursuit, Silly Cow and The Wind in the Willows. His film credits include Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, The Girl from Rio, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Nanny McPhee. His television acting credits include French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous, and A Bit of Fry and Laurie, among many others.

JOEL SASS (Director) was the Associate Artistic Director at Jungle Theater where he has directed and/or designed 15 productions. He was also Artistic Director at Mary Worth Theatre Company where he directed 14 productions. Other directing credits include The 39 Steps, 9 Parts of Desire andPericles, Prince of Tyre, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth and Pericles. Other regional credits include the Guthrie Theater, California Shakespeare Festival, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Park Square Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre. As a designer, he has worked with Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Park Square Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Red Eye Collaboration, Eye of the Storm Theatre, Minnesota Opera and Intermedia Arts.

The cast of ATC newcomers includes Sarah Agnew (Annabella Schmidt/Margaret/Pamela) whose credits include Dollhouse, The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, The Home Place, Major Barbara, The Falls, As You Like It and Nickel and Dimed at the Guthrie Theater. A former company member at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, her other regional credits include Dead Man's Cell Phone, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Servant of Two Masters, Three Sisters, The Syringa Tree, The Miser and Amerika, among many others; Robert O. Berdahl (Richard Hannay) who has been seen recently in H.M.S. Pinafore, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, After a Hundred Years, 1776, She Loves Me, Pygmalion, Othello, Pride and Prejudice, among many others at the Guthrie Theater. Other regional credits include Horton Grand Theatre, Hope Repertory Theatre, Hey City Stage, and performances at Lyric Theater, History Theatre, Playhouse Square, Michigan Ensemble Theater. Jim Lichtscheidl (Clown) has been seen regionally at Tricycle Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. Productions include Tiny Kushner, The Miser, Stones in His Pockets, Richard III, Little Shop of Horrors, In a Garden, Ragtime, Waiting for Godot, At Your Service and King Lear. Mr. Lichtscheidl's film work includes A Serious Man, Factotum and With or Without You; LUVERNE SEIFERT (Clown) has appeared in Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, Othello, Richard III, Little Shop of Horrors, Antigone, King Lear, and others at Ten Thousand Things Theater; Amerika, Gulliver's Travels, Hamlet, Chez Pierre, The Golem, Tartuffe, Queen, Red Harvest, Twelfth Night, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Yang Zen Froggs, Don Juan Giovanni, Germinal, and others at Theatre de la Jeune Lune; The 39 Steps, The Government Inspector and The Ugly One at the Guthrie Theater; 800 Words at Workhaus Collective; The Pillowman, Machinal, Sincerity Forever, Macbeth at Frank Theatre; Marsupial Girl, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and others at Children's Theatre Company; and The Holiday Pageant at Open Eye Figure Theatre.

The creative team includes Richard Hoover (Set Designer) who has designed productions at Roundabout Theatre Company, Royal National Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, Promenade Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alley Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, among others. His film work includesNorth Country, The Mothman Prophecies, Girl Interrupted, Live from Baghdad, Cradle Will Rock, Dead Man Walking, Bob Roberts, Ed Wood, Prime Gig, Payback, Apt Pupil and Torch Song Trilogy. On television, he has created designs for Fail Safe and Twin Peaks. He is the recipient of a Tony Award and Art Directors Guild Award; AMELIA CHEEVER (Costume Designer) has designed more than 50 productions at Jungle Theatre Company. She has designedThe 39 Steps; 9 Parts of Desire; Pericles, Prince of Tyre; In the Blood; and Side Man for the Guthrie Theater; Peer Gynt for Minnesota Orchestra; The Trial..., Louis & Ophelia, Black Nativity and Riffs for Penumbra Theatre Company; Art for Actors Theatre of Louisville; Always...Patsy Cline, and Ruthless! for Ordway Center for the Performing Arts; The History of the Devil, 16 Spells to Charm the Beast, Titus Andronicus, Madame de Sade, Lunatic Cellmates for Mary Worth Theatre Company; and Slither for Eye of the Storm Theatre; as well as productions at Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Red Eye Collaboration, New Music Theater Ensemble and St. Michael's Playhouse; Barry BrownING (Lighting Designer) is the Resident Lighting Designer for the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, where he has lit over 70 productions such as The Glass Menagerie, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Seafarer, The Syringa Tree, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I Am My Own Wife, The House of Blue Leaves and Macbeth. He has worked with theatres such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Mixed Blood Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Northstar Opera, among others; REID REJSA (Sound Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he designed sound for The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He has designed sound for Jungle Theatre, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts/McKnight Theatre, Frank Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, Carlyle Brown & Company, Katha Dance Theatre, The Minneapolis Planetarium, Penumbra Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, among others; MICHAEL SOMMERS (Shadow Puppetry) is the co-founder of Open Eye Figure Theatre and creator of more than 30 original works of varying scales for Open Eye. He created the shadow imagery for Resurrection Blues at the Guthrie Theater, where he was also a musical performer in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The History Plays, The Greek Plays, and Cymbeline; MARTHA KULIG (Stage Manager) has been a stage manager for the Guthrie Theater for almost 25 years. Glenn Bruner and TIMOTHY TOOTHMAN are the Assistant Stage Managers for this production.

The Tucson media sponsors for the 2011-2012 Season are KGUN9, MIXFM and Tucson Lifestyle.
Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. An Audio-Described performance is offered on February 2 at 2:00 PM. Interested patrons with vision loss may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language Interpretation is presented by professional, theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on February 2 at 7:30 PM. Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play's dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on February 2 at 2:00 PM. For open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large print and Braille playbills and infrared listening amplification devices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).

Tickets for The 39 Steps are $31-$56, subject to change, depending on date and section choice and are available at or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounts are available for seniors and active military on specific performance days. $10 student ticket pricing is now available for all performances. Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability). Ten Dollar Tuesday for The 39 Steps is January 17 at 7:30 PM. Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC box office starting at 10 AM on November 29. Seating is first-come first served and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets per person maximum.) For discounts on groups of eight or more, call (520) 622-2823.

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